Sunday, August 7, 2011

Post Vacation Musings

Well I'm back from a lovely vacation with my family in the Bahamas. We all have a nice island glow and some very fun memories. I didn't think too much about genealogy while I was there, after all it was vacation time. However, I did wonder about my ancestors and their vacations.

Most of my ancestors were farmers. So I would imagine they didn't vacation much. Who else would take care of their farm? If I had to guess, Sunday would be their day off. That day was most likely spent at church. After services they probably caught up with their neighbors. Perhaps in the spring or summer, after church, the family would picnic by a creek. Well, this is what my imagination spins anyway.

I'll probably never know if they went on vacation or not, unless I'm lucky enough to come across a diary (unlikely). There is a chance I could stumble across a mention in a newspaper (possible). Fortunately, for  genealogists, people have always been curious about what other people are up to. Regardless of the phrase, "Mind your own business," these details were printed in the local paper for all to be privy to, discuss and gossip about. It is still entertaining to read today and some of it is quite funny. If you ever have a chance, I encourage you to look at the social section of a paper in the 1800's. It's like reading a tabloid without the photos!

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back! When I was living down the road from a state historical society library, I had a hard time NOT reading the social columns in 19th century newspapers while searching for a certain obituary. MYOB apparently ended at the door of the local newspaper. As for vacations, it was the local elite whose cruises and cross-country trips were chronicled in detail. The "vacations" of the rest were usually worded something like "Such and such has returned from a week's visit with his/her [insert relative]". I think among the working class, it was considered a sign of laziness to call these trips to a town or city 60 or 200 miles away a "vacation"!